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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Constructive Complaining

"Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord Almighty - you will succeed because of My Spirit, though you are few and weak." - Zechariah 4:6 TLB

Sometimes, on days when I am at my son John's house taking care of my grandson William, I will pick up lunch for us, and then drop by a coffee shop to buy beverages and a treat or two. This past winter, which was especially harsh here in Eastern Pennsylvania, the driveway of the drive-up window at this restaurant suffered a huge pothole that was impossible to avoid. For weeks, I drove through that driveway and prayed that the Lord would send someone to repair that hole, but nothing changed. Then one day, the people working at the drive-up window completely botched up my order. I was so disgusted that I filled out an online survey for the coffee shop, and I described in detail how my order was ruined. I also included a complaint about the huge pothole in their drive-thru driveway. The next day, I was surprised when the owner of the restaurant called me and apologized profusely for the poor service I had received the day before. And I was completely stunned the next time I went to that coffee shop. Not only was the drive-thru pothole completely repaired, but the entire parking lot was beautifully paved.

Too often, we have a tendency to sit back and wait for someone else to complain about something that we know is wrong. We will gripe about the sorry condition of something, or shabby service, and then say to ourselves, "Surely someone will complain about this!" But many times, God is waiting for US to do the hard work of confronting and complaining. When we do, He will back up our complaint with divine intervention and action to support our efforts.

Scripture says, "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord Almighty - you will succeed because of My Spirit, though you are few and weak." (Zechariah 4:6 TLB) This is the Lord's promise to His people that when the odds are stacked against us, and we are few in number and without apparent resources, the Spirit of God will intervene and fight our battles for us. But there is usually a part for us to play in this process. Undoubtedly, we will have to seek the Lord in earnest prayer, sometimes many times. And if we ask Him to, God will show us who we need to confront, and perhaps lodge a complaint against. When we do our part, we can rest assured that the Lord will be faithful to do His. Oftentimes, part of God's job is to turn, direct, or change the hearts of others. The Bible says, "The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes." (Proverbs 21:1 NASB) If God can turn the hearts of kings, don't you think He can direct the heart of a coffee shop owner? You bet He can.

If you and I are going to impact this world for Christ, then we must get a revelation of how powerful our prayers can be. The apostle James wrote, "The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results." (James 5:16 NLT) Our prayers will PRODUCE! Through the power of God, they can produce salvation, healing, deliverance, and provision. They can produce divine protection in the most dangerous circumstances. The devil would like nothing better than to have you think that your prayers couldn't possibly make a difference in someone's life, or in an 'impossible' situation. If you believe his lies, then even though your prayers have the potential to change lives and circumstances, they will remain weak and ineffective because of your unbelief. Don't be fooled!

In every situation, there is a right way and a wrong way to complain. Our complaints should always be constructive, not destructive. We are called to "speak the truth in love" because we belong to Christ. (Ephesians 4:15 NLT) Scripture tells us, "And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through Him to God the Father." (Colossians 3:17 NLT) Remember who you are representing when you lodge a complaint. When you do it in a manner that pleases the Lord, He will get involved, and a favorable outcome will result. Can you think of a situation that needs this kind of attention from you today?

Prayer: Lord, Your Word says that You make me bold as a lion for Your glory. (Proverbs 28:1) Show me what people and situations I need to confront and complain about as I go about my daily life. I regret all the times I allowed fear or a lack of confidence to keep me from doing Your will. When I am tempted to shy away from following Your lead in this area, remind me of Your promise to intervene and back me up as I take steps to obey You. Remind me of how powerful and effective my prayers can be because I belong to You. Thank You that as I believe Your Word and act upon it, lives and situations will be changed for Your glory!

- J. M. Farro


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